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Op-ed debunks kidnapping conspiracy theories

Op-ed by Akram Atallah, columnist for Al-‎Hayat Al-Jadida
‎     “As Israel has failed to find any lead ‎several days after the Hebron operation ‎‎(i.e., kidnapping of three Israeli teens), ‎conspiracy theories have begun to appear ‎among the proposed [explanations] for the ‎operation – for two reasons. The first is the ‎helplessness of the Israeli forces and ‎intelligence services, which give the ‎impression of knowing every single detail ‎and how each Palestinian thinks, and ‎what he is thinking about. Yet they have ‎not succeeded in catching the ‎perpetrators, and therefore, there was no ‎operation – for there is nothing these ‎services can’t do. This arises, to a certain ‎degree, from a belief in, and a fear and ‎recognition of, Israeli superiority over ‎Palestinian reason.‎

The second reason is that our way of ‎thinking when interpreting things is ‎dictated by [our] Arab heritage, a heritage ‎which abounds in theatrical shows, ‎hazardous ventures, lies, killing and ‎disregard for human beings. This [is clear] ‎because the kidnapping of three Arab ‎citizens by some government for an ‎insignificant goal [is considered routine]; ‎and how many Arab citizens have been ‎kidnapped, tortured and have disappeared ‎in Arab countries?‎

However, those who think this way are not ‎looking closely at Israel’s past, and how ‎the state works – for in Israel, this issue is ‎different, and no one could undertake a ‎plot of such dimensions against Jews, ‎since its discovery would mean, on the ‎internal level, the end of his political ‎career, and would lead to his being tried in ‎court. On the international level, you ‎cannot have hundreds of conversations ‎with the countries of the world, above all ‎the US, ask for [them to take] positions [on ‎the issue], and then tell them it was just ‎candid camera.‎

In addition, who would be able to assume ‎responsibility for making the Israeli street ‎hold its breath for days, only to have it ‎revealed that it was [the work of] someone ‎who gambled with the feelings of his ‎citizens?‎

This issue has provoked reactions in the ‎Israeli interior, and huge signs have ‎already been posted at the entrances to ‎the large Israeli cities, with the call, ‘return ‎the kidnapped boys.’ In addition, who will ‎assume responsibility afterwards for the ‎huge amount of money that was wasted ‎during the ongoing search operation? ‎
‎ Three infantry companies are taking part ‎in the search operation on a daily basis, ‎and reservists have been called up. These ‎are all expensive operations for an army ‎that has stopped air sorties because of the ‎financial crisis, and for a state that is ‎having trouble passing the 2015 budget ‎because of austerity and because of fierce ‎disagreements, since it has to trim 18 ‎billion shekels [from the budget].”‎

Note:‎ On June 12, 2014, Israeli teens Eyal ‎Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali ‎Frenkel, 16, were kidnapped while ‎hitchhiking in the West Bank. The boys' ‎bodies were found by Israeli security forces ‎near Hebron on June 30, 2014. They ‎appeared to have been shot to death soon ‎after the abduction.‎